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Trip Reports - 2017

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October 18 - Tongue Mountain Range
A short boat ride to Champlain Point (Tip of Tongue) took our group of six trampers to lake shore explorations and a climb of the Tongue Mountain Range to ever rising panorama above Lake George and back to Bolton Landing, meeting along our way another group descending to boat landing, a solo hiker walking the complete loop and in small wilderness neighbor to one in our group; over a long, tiring day of roller coaster elevation gain (2650') we reached up to three awesome summit rest stops enjoying views, foliage and converse before our final welcome descent from the Fifth Peak Lean-to and Vista. (Tip of Tongue to Clay Meadow 9.66 miles / 8:49 hours)

  Leader: Jean André Laverdure  Participants: Mike Boucher, John Tifft, Deborah Richards, Ellen Kozlowski, Esther

Landing at Tip of Tongue

September 27 - Hadley Mountain Hike
Hadley Mountain hike, 9/27/17. We had a very hot day but the hike was in the shade most of the way, and there was a breeze at the top, so it wasn't too bad as long as we kept drinking water. The leaders got lost on the way to the trailhead but we finally started out about 10:30 AM. It was two hours fairly steep steady uphill, to the open top where we had our lunch with beautiful views of Sacandaga Lke and surrounding mountains. Total distance was 3.8 miles round trip.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Anne Finch, Bob Fakundiny, Bob Armao, Mary MacDonald, Larry Sloman

Hikers at the top

September 16 - Flag Rock to Squaw Peak: a Monument Mountain traverse
We started our hike in Housatonic from Grove St with a helpful neighbor directing us to parking and trail. Once beyond power line pole #123, we quickly ascended to Flag Rock and its impressive views over and above Housatonic. Our mid-point came just below Monument’s summit at a tote road junction. Now keeping to the best trod tracks we reached our day’s other busier trail system. Stopping for lunch atop Squaw Peak, we again enjoyed outstanding views. After a short detour for some of us to the Devil’s Pulpit to more view, we descended via the Indian Monument Trail to our spotted Rte 7 vehicle (a zig-zag distance outside of 1.5 miles as the crow flies). Hike totals were 6.80 miles / 5:25 hours / 1700 feet of gain.

  Leader: Jean André Laverdure  Co-leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Jim Meyer, Nancy Crowther, Will Crowther, Nina B., David B.

... at Flag Rock!

August 30 - The Boulders, Dalton MA
Nine of us explored the newish Berkshire Natural Resource Council property, the Boulders, 685 acres of forest abutting the AT in Dalton Massachusetts. Although the trail markings left something to be desired, we found our way around the 5 mile loop with 2 miles for side trips to the giant boulder pile at the high point and the wizard's glen another spot with many giant rocks. The trails were wide and smooth...a great destination for x-c skiing.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dale Blanchett, Anneliese Lawson, Bob Armao, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Jake Borscheller, Karen Ross, Donna Farber

August 26 - Albany Pine Bush Thru-Hike
An exploration / traverse of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, we started from the Hunger Kill Barrens (TH #10) past DiCaprio Park to the Great Dune (TH #8) and then backtracked to the Madison Avenue Pinelands (TH #7). On a warming sunny day, we crossed deep moist, bridged ravines with steep topography, and rolling pitch pine-scrub oak forests and barrens. As a pair of co-leaders, we hiked close to home 7.3 miles taking in (ever changing) well groomed multi-use trails here in the Albany Metro Area.

  Co-leader: Jean André Laverdure, John Tifft

August 17 - Urban Hike
Starting from the RISSE headquarters in downtown Albany, eight of our members plus about 40 immigrants and refugees who take advantage of the services that the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus provide walked 2 and a half miles through Washington Park ending up at the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence which is headquarters of the Underground Railroad History Project of Albany. The walk's purpose was dual in purpose: one to acquaint the persons newly settled in Albany with their surroundings and the Underground Railroad History Project and two to take the opportunity kindly provided by RISSE for our chapter to become better acquainted with our new neighbors.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Deborah Richards, Tim Doherty, Karol Harlow, Josh Harlow, Susan Raab, Marilyn Schmidt, Mary O'Connell

August 16 - Vroman's Nose hike
On a beautiful day, we hiked the short, steep trail up Vroman's Nose in Middleburgh. At the top of the cliff we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the Schoharie Valley farms. Geologist Bob Fakundiny gave us a short lecture about the glacial striations we were seeing in the rock. We came down on a little different trail to give a bit of variety. After the hike most of us went to the Carrot Barn and had a very good lunch.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther, Nancy Crowther  Co-leader: Will Crowther  Participants: Anne Finch, Bob Fakundiny, Gerry Weber, Donna Farber, Anneliese Lawson, Larry Sloman, Bob Armao, Dee Portzer

at the top of the Nose

August 8 - Brush Back Trail Work on the Appalachian Trail
Mike and I trimmed the adopted section of the AT near the river where it had grown up quite a bit.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mike Boucher

July 22 - Mount Greylock: a thru hike
July 22 – Mt Greylock: an Appalachian Trail thru hike
A group of six, we staged our walk and transport from Rockwell Rd to Wilbur’s Clearing. Our trek began early with a short hike south for a first view of Mt Greylock, backtracking northward to another closer view before reaching its summit and still closed War Memorial, views and a rest stop at Bascom Lodge. Our next longer stretch of trail went on to Mt Williams where we lunched on open rock and met a Highpointers Club group on their way to the state highpoint. A quick descent to Wilbur’s Clearing persuaded most of us (5/6ths) to continue along to Prospect Junction’s wide open views west and north over Williamstown below. There a relaxed hiker was reading on the rocky outcrop in the day’s truly comfortable weather. Hike totals: Mt Greylock 1.07 mi. / 0:53 hrs, Mt Williams 3.77 mi. / 3:07 hrs, Prospect Jct 5.44 mi. / 5:05 hrs and Wilbur’s Clearing 5.86 mi. / 5:24 hrs.

  Leader: Jean André Laverdure  Co-leader: John Tifft  Participants: Marilyn Schmidt, Jim Meyer, Blanche Nelson, Mike Boucher

Prospect Junction

July 19 - Peebles Island Hike
A perimeter walk around the beautiful Peebles Island Park was included for members to participate in before partaking in the Summer Picnic. Eleven members joined in and enjoyed the views of the Mohawk and Hudson as we circled the island.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: George Hewitt, Vivienne Rollins, Jill Nagy, George Nagy, Dave Esmond, Peter Bakel, Jean Laverdure, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Susannah Hatch

July 14 - Hiking BNRC trails & Tanglewood Concert
A iffy forecast and cloudy skies resulted in only 3 of us walking through the cloud and misty (not rainy) forest in the Yokun South and North preserves for a 4 mile loop of trails from Olivia's Overlook. Afterward, we went to Tanglewood and for the bargain Friday admission with seats for the prelude and the shed concerts. In between, we were able to picnic between concerts although we stood at our picnic table as our photo indicates.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Marilyn Schmidt, Blanche Nelson

July 8 - Survey of Long Path through Thacher Park
Our task was to both survey and trim where needed the entire Long Path route through Thacher Park. All this was done in compliance with our role as maintainer of the path through Thacher. What we found was very little need for actual trimming and only one major blowdown. There is a long standing problematic area in the north section that is in need of some way of taking care of a low lying area that is without adequate drainage. Also, the route by the new Visitors Center is a little unclear as to how one is to go around it and continue towards the trail which continues behind the office. Meanwhile we got caught in a torrential downpour part way through that lasted about 20 minutes. There was some on and off rain throughout the day, but we had come prepared. Our lunch was partaken at one of the pavilions next to Hailes Cave Rd. It was a long approximately seven miles and we were frankly very grateful to see its end.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mike Boucher, Kathleen Helfrich, Mary O'Connell, Jean Laverdure

June 29 - Bennington Battlefield Hike
June 29 – Hike to Baum's Height
Our group of six hikers climbed from Rte 67 looping up to a pair of summits. First we reached to White Creek Hill just beyond the Valley View Trail and Park Boundary thru open woods. After descending and circling back to the Connector Trail, its close by rustic bridge, we climbed up to the Battle Loop hiking around the immediate Bennington Battlefield Historic Site. Our lunch was made in history at a picnic table, under a rain canopy, in cool summit air at Baum's Height on a warm day while enjoying the company of docents. The track back went a quick 3/4 mile, via the Connector and Valley View Trails. Hike totals: White Creek Hill 0.95 mi. / 0:42 hrs, Baum's Height 3.38 mi. / 2:18 hrs, and Trail Head 4.12 mi. / 3:22 hrs.
Leader: Jean Laverdure Co-Leader: John Tifft Participants: Jacob Bortscheller, Mike Boucher, Dave Cedar & Donna Farber.

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Participants: John Tifft, Jake Bortscheller, Donna Farber, Mike Boucher, Dave Cedar

June 24 - Trail Work on the Appalachian Trail
Prior to the brush hog mowing of the section of the AT trail along the Housatonic that we maintain, we helped clear any hindrances that might impede the mowing which was to take place the following week. Mary O'Connell and I along with Dave Koerber lopped and whacked and hopefully provided a clearer path for the mowing.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mary O'Connell

June 22 - Trail Work at the Van Dyke Preserve
Mike Boucher and myself helped out the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy staff make some improvements to the Van Dyke Preserve, one of the many preserves which the Conservancy owns and maintains. We helped by clearing a small reroute around a perennially wet section of the trail and also by leveling a section of the trail which needed leveling.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mike Boucher

June 21 - Huckleberry Point hike
Huckleberry Point hike in Catskills. This was a beautiful hike and a very large group. We all enjoyed it but got tired! The trail to Huckleberry Point ascends a rocky road, then descends on a trail to a cliff overlooking a gorgeous view of the Hudson valley. We returned by the same trail, up then down. We were in luck to catch a few mountain laurels in bloom at the end of the hike near the cliff. Two of our group left early and didn't make the picture.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Sharon Bonk, Donna Farber, Kendra Pratt, Kathleen Helfrich, Bob Fakundiny, Anne Finch, Mary Hanley, Max Morehouse, Diane Dollery, Mike Boucher, Rolf Weber, Lena Weber, Ellen Kozlowski, Claudia Rosenholz, Bill Colgan, Dee Portzer

Most of the gang, over looking the Hudson Valley

June 3 - Trail Work at At Schoharie Creek Preserve
Our thanks go out to the Crowthers, the stewarts of this special preserve which is under Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy management to help them with some troublesome areas to be found on parts of the trail there. We were very happy to do so, and hopefully by doing so helped make the trails a little drier and safer for those who hike there. The summer intern, Jake Hill, for the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy was very helpful.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mary O'Connell, Mary MacDonald, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Kevin Cox, Mike Boucher, Jake Hill

June 3 - Trail maintenance at Schoharie Preserve
We had a trail maintenance session at Schoharie Creek Preserve, conservation land that is a joint project between AMC and Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. Many parts of the trail were wet, so the stronger volunteers loaded gravel into wheelbarrows, trundled them to the wet spots, and spread gravel there. A second project was to set the stepping stones in one steep section into the sand, resulting in a more step-like section. Two other people worked on putting up official plastic trail markers until they ran out of nails.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Mary O'Connell, Mary MacDonald, Kevin Cox, John Tifft, Mike Boucher, Jacob Hill (from MHLC)

May 24 - Thacher Park hike
We met at Paint Mine parking lot and hiked up the hill behind the parking, looping around to the Overlook. We enjoyed the view there, then went on along the top of the escarpment to the Indian Ladder trail. We descended the stairs and hiked carefully behind two waterfalls. We then ascended the stairs at the other end and walked to the new Visitors' Center, where we had our lunch and viewed the exhibits. Bob Fakundiny taught us some things about geology. We then walked back to the cars.

  Leader: Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther  Participants: Anne Finch, Bob Fakundiny, Brad Mohr, Mary O'Connell, Lena Weber, Rolf Weber, John Halvorson, Doris Halvorson

The gang at the Overlook

May 19 - Invasive Species Removal
On a warmer day than expected we worked to help one of our members remove some invasive plants that have made their way onto her property. Along the way we gained some knowledge of those plants that were invasive as well as those that needed to stay put. Our thanks to Janet Angelis for this opportunity!

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mike Boucher, Mary O'Connell, Janet Angelis

May 17 - First Survey of our section of the Taconic Crest Trail
What we found on surveying the trail was a great deal of ATV damage, as well as leaf backup on most of the runoffs. We attempted to drain the depressions in the trail caused by the ATV's although some were impossible to drain. It was a very hot day even at the heightened elevation and much credit is due to our intrepid workers who worked their way all the way to the summit.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Len Silverstein, Mike Boucher, Jean Laverdure

May 10 - Mohawk Hudson Conservancy Preserves
On a "warmish' day we hiked the trails of Keleher Preserve (3.9 miles) and Bennett Hill (aprox. 3 miles) looking at the views north and east from Keleher. At Bennett Hill we found more wildflowers in bloom. After the hike, five us went to Jake Moon's to sample their wild ramps.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Gerry Weber, Anneliese Lawson, Janet Twadzik, Susan Phelps, Virginia Parsons, Ellen Kozlowsky

Overlook at Keleher Perserve

May 6 - Tree Planting on Land adjacent to the Hudson and Hannacroix Creek
On land adjacent to both the Hudson River and the Hannacroix Creek, we helped start a project designed to help stabilize the property from water encroachment from both the creek and the river. After planting the trees, we discovered how high the tide is even this far up the as we waded in almost knee high water back. There we were treated to a scrumptious feast for lunch by the owner of the land.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Deborah Richards, Mary O'Connell, Jean Laverdure

May 3 - Huyck Preserve
Despite it being May, we had a blustery day with spells of showers and spells of sun. We were treat to a magnificently flowing waterfall with accompanying wet trails. There were few spring flowers to view but we found ramps, trout lily, false heliobore, red trillium, and little yellow flowers. By the time we reached the beach, grey clouds, wind and raindrops appeared and we ate hastily to reatreat into the woods, view the falls from above, and head to the parking lot.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dona Farber, Bob Armao, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Gerry Weber, Ellelllllln Kozlowsky, Peggy Reedy, Barbara Sabini, Ellen Kozlowsky

Below Huyck Falls

April 29 - Hannacroix Creek Trail Walk
Thanks to Deborah Richards who being familiar with this trail led us all on a leisurely hike at the Hannacroix Creek Preserve. Our hike included breathtaking views of waterfalls, and views of the Hudson. We ended up at property owned by Barbara Heinzen across the road who graciously offered us a place to have our lunch while she and her assistant, Eric explained the planting of native grasses she was engaged in. While there at the property we were treated to a viewing of the beaver lodge now ensconsed on her property.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Deborah Richards, Laura Fiske, Annaliese Lawson, Laurie Dickerson, Donna Crisafulli

April 26 - Vischer Ferry hike
We met at the Vischer Ferry Hydroelectric Plant on Riverview Road in Vischer Ferry/Rexford, in spite of the threat of rain. Some people had trouble finding it. We walked on the towpath trail, between the Mohawk River and the old Erie Canal. We walked as far as a historical lock, and then turned around, for a total of 4.3 miles. and went back to the cars. We ate lunch on a grassy knoll overlooking the dam at modern lock 7 in the Mohawk, and the sky began to have patches of blue. Two hikers were on their first AMC trip and were happy to learn about the group.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther  Co-leader: Will Crowther  Participants: Gerry Weber, Diane Dollery, Mary Hanley, John Halvorson, Bob Fakundiny, Anne Finch, Donna Farber, Sharon Bonk

April 22 - Earth Day Trail Work at Fox Preserve
At newly acquired preserve located by the Mohawk River in the town of Colonie, we joined many other volunteers in the beginning stage of clearing a trail. We helped with leveling and lopping. We were fortunate to be joined by two potential members who enthusiastically joined in the effort.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Elizabeth Frederick, Lindsay Freeman, Mary O'Connel, Mike Boucher

April 20 - Tom Ball Mountain 1933'

Our hike started at the Great Barrington (MA) Fish & Game Club along Long Pond Road. Short road walk led us to a wood road entrance at the Pond’s northern end. Going west along old logging roads, we quickly rose to the ridgeline. From here at a four-way trail junction, we went north soon reaching a tabled outlook west to the hills and valley of farms below. An overcast start now became sunny, blue sky day. A last few yards of tramp became bushwhack along patches of open, rocky ridgeline with ever expansive western views reaching to a summit cairn after 2.21 miles in 1:54 hours. We lunched warm back on open rock, enjoying views west to the state borderline of hills. A quick hike, we explored descending to Long Pond’s shoreline road managing 5.25 miles in 4:25 hours. All participants enjoying climb to new Berkshire heights.

  Leader: Jean André Laverdure  Co-leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Kathleen Helfrich, Deb Richards, Janet Angelis


March 18 - Niskayuna Trails Hike
With plenty of snow after Tuesday’s blizzard, we snowshoed from Lock 7 State Park to Blatnick Park (Niskayuna) by way of the trails up above the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway. Almost all of our trails were broken by a skier who unbelievably descended even into Shaker Gorge (we did not). Our hike was along a firm and frozen footing which when westward looking showed overcast and on turning away a blue and sunny sky; once atop Blatnick Hill, we reached an expanse of view over a frozen Mohawk River below. We returned by way of the Bikeway where hiking, not in but alongside the well skied track, was now possible, going for 3.3miles in just over 3 hours

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Participants: Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther

February 8 - Schenectady County Forest hike
After ice and rain the day before, we changed this trip from a snow trip to a hike in boots with stabilicers. The weather was fine and we had a good time. We did the main loop at Schenectady County Forest, and also the "Boy Scout" loop -- an extra loop put in as an Eagle Scout project by a local boy scout. The total was about 4 miles. We then went to our nearby house for lunch with hot soup and bread.

  Leader: Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther  Participants: Dee Portzer, Anne Finch, Kendra Pratt, Anneliese Lawson

The six of us with a squirrel! Photo by Anne

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